Tunisia - 1 June 2016

This paper aims to investigate whether exposure to international trade increases the firm’s ability to create jobs, improve its productivity and profitability using a unique Tunisian firm level data set. Several types of firms are considered: onshore non-exporters and importers, onshore exporters and non-importers, onshore exporters and importers, offshore exporters and non-importers and offshore exporters and importers. Findings are mixed concerning firm’s involvement in trade and job creation. Onshore firms exclusively importing and offshore firms (exporters and two way traders) appear to be the only ones to create jobs compared to non traders. Evidence related to the relationship between firm’s performance and trade status is more clear-cut. Tunisian firms involved in foreign markets are more productive and profitable than non-traders.